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Broadway Q&A: Sophia Anne Caruso of ‘Beetlejuice'

Category Broadway

|by Jeryl Brunner |

Caruso on playing Lydia: "She represents the unusual in all of us."

Sophia Anne Caruso has been acting professionally since she was nine years old, when she played Helen Keller in a production of The Miracle Worker that was directed by Patty Duke. The Spokane, Washington native, has been performing ever since. Currently she stars as Lydia Deetz in Beetlejuice on Broadway. Based on the 1988 Tim Burton film, Beetlejuice follows Lydia, who has recently lost her mom, the one person who truly understood her. She is a quirky, death-obsessed outsider, but everything changes when she connects with the Maitlands, a recently deceased couple haunting her new home. Lydia's mettle is further put to the test when she has to deal with a demon named Beetlejuice. Caruso’s credits also includes Blackbird, David Bowie’s Lazarus, The Nether, Runaways, Little Dancer, Smash and The Sound of Music Live.

Alex Brightman as Beetlejuice and Sophia Anne Caruso as Lydia in ‘Beetlejuice’ (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Alex Brightman as Beetlejuice and Sophia Anne Caruso as Lydia in ‘Beetlejuice’ (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

What qualities does Lydia have that you adore?
Sophia Anne Caruso: I like that she represents the unusual in all of us. I really love how our version of the show focuses on her journey and story. It takes you through what it’s like to be a teenage girl who is grieving. That is something we can all relate to.

Did you always want to be an actress?
SAC: I have known my whole life. I have always been acting and singing. I used to put on shows for my parents as a kid. I’d put on Slav music and dance for them. I would sing and play instruments that I didn't know how to play, and try to sing with them.

What was one of the first Broadway shows you saw?
Billy Elliott. I remember being star-struck seeing everyone, and thinking, “I want to do that.”

Can you tell us about what happened when you were cast in Blackbird, and made your Broadway debut with Jeff Daniels and Michelle Williams?
SAC: That was pretty crazy. I wasn't credited for artistic purposes for the show. When I got the call that I was cast, I was shocked. It was only around 20 minutes after my audition. They called and said, “They want you for the job.” It was definitely shocking. I was like, “Whoa. That was fast.”

What was something you were told early on in your career that stayed with you?
SAC: Be humble, be patient, be gracious, be confident and be kind. Those are words that I apply every day.

When you're not working, what do you love to do?
SAC: I love to cook and bake things. My go-to dish is different every day. And I love to read. I read a lot of books. Also, I like to run and go for walks. And I love dogs. I’m a big dog person. I love to watercolor. I write a lot of poetry.

What kinds of books do you love to read?
SAC: I like self-help and poetry. Those are my favorites. And Pablo Neruda is one of my favorites. 

For more of the best of Broadway this season, check out our list of the Top Shows in New York in September 2019

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